Indian Fulbright alumni awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award

Indian Fulbright alumni Dr. Katragadda Paddayya and Satish Alekar, both of Pune, have been conferred the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award for their notable contribution to the fields of archaeology and theatre respectively, for the year 2012.


Prof. Katragadda Paddayya, Emeritus Professor of Archaeology and former Director, Deccan College (Deemed University), Pune, is renowned for his research on the Paleolithic and Neolithic cultures of the Shorapur Doab in the Deccan. Among his many significant contributions to Indian archaeology he can be credited with the introduction of two major and contemporarily dominant theoretical-cum-methodological perspectives, namely the settlement system approach to archaeological sites and the formation processes orientation to sites. He has seven books to his credit, including Recent Studies in Indian Archaeology (Indian Council of Historical Research-Monograph Series 6, 2002); Investigations into the Neolithic Culture of the Shorapur Doab, South India (Leiden, 1973); and New Archaeology and Aftermath: A View from Outside the Anglo-American World (Pune, 1990) and numerous scholarly papers in reputed journals in India and abroad. Prof. Paddayya has held two Fulbright fellowships, a senior research grant in 1986 at the University of California at Berkeley and University of New Mexico, and a lecturing grant in 1999 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. His Fulbright fellowships paved way for collaborative research with American archaeologists in India.

Satish Alekar, celebrated playwright, director and actor, has been practising theater since 1970. A biochemist by training, Satish Alekar began writing plays at the age of 19. He is highly regarded for his outstanding plays including Begum Barve and Mahanirvan that have been translated and performed not just in Marathi but in several Indian regional languages. Recipient of many prestigious awards and honors, both in India and abroad, such as the Sangeet Natak Akademy award for best playwriting in 1994, Mr. Alekar has scripted national award winning film scripts and participated in theater workshops in different corners of the world. Mr. Alekar, who founded and headed the Center for Performing Arts at the University of Pune for several years until his retirement in 2009, was affiliated to the Tisch School of Performing Arts, New York University, on a Fulbright lecturing grant in 2005.